‘K-Drive’ Senior Design Team of Four Students Shortlisted for Second Round at IFEC 2019 in California

February 19, 2019

Supported by Faculty and Staff, Electrical and Computer Engineering Students’ Team Gearing Up to Face Next Phase of Challenge

A four-member team of Electrical and Computer Engineering students from Khalifa University – Maryam Abbas Ahmad Hussain Sajwani, Sumaya Zaid Saeed Ali Alzubaidi, Reem Ali Khalfan Hafesh AlNuaimi and Khadeeja Khaled Hashem Mohamed Aljaberi – has been shortlisted for the second round of IEEE International Future Energy Challenge (IFEC) 2019 that will be held in Anaheim, California, on 17 March 2019.

Supervised by Dr. Balanthi Abdul R. Beig, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and supported by technical staff, the Khalifa University team named ‘K-Drive’, became one of the 16 teams qualified for the second round out of more than 50 entries across the world. The Khalifa University team is also the only one from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to be selected for the second phase of the challenge.

The challenge ‘electric drive for bicycles’ (E-Drive for a Bicycle), consists of the design and prototype of a battery-three phase output drive including the motor control and user interface design.

The design team ‘K-Drive’ is currently gearing up to present their progress at the workshop in Anaheim, which will be held in parallel with the IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) 2019. The successful teams will be entering the final round of competition which will be held from 22-25 May 2019 at the University of Wisconsin. The Grand Prize winner will walk away with US$10,000, while there will be three additional awards of US$5,000, US$3,000 and US$1,000 for various categories.

The four ECE students are extremely delighted to learn about their selection. Sajwani said: “We were overjoyed and it has now given us an added boost. We will give our best so as to qualify for the final stage.”

The students attributed their first stage success to their faculty adviser Dr. Balanthi Beig, as well as the technical support and constant motivation from the ECE Lab engineers Suma Ramamurthy Rao, Saikrishna Kanukollu and Malik Abdul Haleem.

Sajwani added: “Last semester our focus was on modelling the system and understanding various factors that we need to consider in order to get the optimal output. This semester, we have taken those concepts, revised them and started building the system. We have divided our tasks based on two major categories – hardware and software. In hardware, we have been working on the PCB (printed circuit board) and its connections to the overall systems whereas, in software we are more focused towards programming the main controller to execute tasks.”

She added, “For the next stage, it’s very crucial that we obtain the best PCB design so that we can showcase our findings and results.”

IFEC, an international student competition for innovation, conservation, and effective use of electrical energy, is open to college and university student teams from recognized undergraduate engineering programs. The competition is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Electronics Society (PELS), Power & Energy Society (PES), Industry Application Society (IAS) and Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA).


Clarence Michael

News Writer

14 February 2019